Disposition Study, Upper St. Anthony Falls and Lock and Dam, Upper Mississippi River

U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District
Published March 14, 2016
Updated: March 17, 2022
Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam, Minneapolis, Minn.

Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam, Minneapolis, Minn.

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Purpose

Determine whether or not continued operation and ownership of Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam (USAF) is in the federal interest, and if not, provide supporting information for deauthorization of the project purposes and disposal of the property.

Location

USAF is located on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Description

USAF was closed to navigation on June 9, 2015, as ordered by Section 2010 of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014. America’s Water Infrastructure Act of October 24, 2018, directed the Corps to expedite completion of a disposition study for Upper St. Anthony Falls and to examine partial disposal, environmental and natural resource improvement opportunities and dam removal.

Status

The Corps began the USAF disposition study in May 2019. A draft report with an integrated environmental assessment was released for public review in December 2020, concluding that there is no federal interest in continuing to own and operate the project. The draft report recommended full disposal of the USAF project, combined with offering a monetary incentive to the new owner to expedite the disposal. The draft report invited outside parties to submit letters of interest in future ownership.

Section 356 of the Water Resources Development Act of December 27, 2020 (WRDA 2020), directed that all or substantially all of the lands around the USAF lock be conveyed to the city of Minneapolis, and that additional licenses and easements be granted to the city for any lands and features that are not otherwise conveyed in fee. WRDA 2020 requires that the city of Minneapolis submit a formal request for the lands they wish to be conveyed.

The Corps released a revised draft disposition report on January 19, 2021, excluding from the disposition recommendation any properties that are to be conveyed to the city of Minneapolis. A virtual public meeting for the revised draft report was held on March 3, 2021. Comments were requested by March 18, 2021. Formal Tribal and Section 106 consultation began in February 2021. Consultation will identify and assess effects of the proposed federal action on cultural and historic properties and seek ways to avoid, minimize or mitigate potential adverse effects. Consultation is ongoing and a historic properties programmatic agreement is scheduled to be complete in 2022.  

The disposition report will be finalized following confirmation of the lands to be conveyed to the city of Minneapolis under WRDA 2020. The final report will be forwarded for approval by the director of Civil Works. The report will then be forwarded to Congress for consideration of the Corps’ recommendations.

Authority

Section 216 of the Flood Control Act of 1970 allows the Corps to study completed projects or their operation when found advisable due to significantly changed physical or economic conditions. Federal property disposal is managed by the General Services Administration as governed by federal law.

Funding

The cost of disposition studies are funded under the investigation appropriation.